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People of the town of Jasper, Tenn. turn out to pay respects as the remains of U.S. Army Pfc. Lotchie Jones moves past the courthouse and Jasper Drug Co., where he boarded a bus for the War in Korea in 1950.

IF YOU GO

Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. CST today at Tate Funeral Home, 450 Mel Dixon Lane in Jasper, Tenn. The service will be held there Friday at 11:30 a.m. CST. Jones will be buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

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Lotchie John Ray Jones is seen before he joined the service
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People of the town of Jasper turn out to pay respects as the remains of U.S. Army Pfc. Lotchie Jones proceeds past the courthouse and Jasper Drug Co., where he boarded a bus for the War in Korea in 1950. From left are Vickie Tuders, Kristy Walden, Regina Phillips and Mark Griffith, all from Marion County Schools Central Office.

More than six decades after he got on the bus in Jasper, Tenn., to take his place among the ranks of soldiers serving in Korea, Pfc. Lotchie John Ray Jones' remains returned to his hometown on Wednesday.

The soldier's nephew and namesake, Lotchia Allen Jones, called his uncle's arrival in Nashville an emotional occasion.

"What a moving and emotional time. When that casket passed by me, whoo," he reflected. "Seeing that flag and knowing the history that lies there, it just makes your hair stand on end."

Lotchia Jones said a procession of seven cars headed to Nashville early Wednesday to meet the plane carrying his uncle's remains. He was touched by the local contingent of officials who traveled to Nashville Wednesday to pay their respects, he said.

"When the coffin came through the roll-up doors of the cargo bay, it was just amazing," he said.

Marion County people turned out in Jasper Wednesday afternoon to welcome Pfc. Lotchie John Ray Jones back home.

Jones was a 17-year-old private first class in the U.S. Army's Company "B," 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division when he went missing in action Nov. 2, 1950, in the area of Unsan about 100 miles north of the 38th parallel that divides North Korea from South Korea.

He was captured and imprisoned at Pyoktong Prisoner of War Camp 5 and died of unknown causes Feb. 28, 1951.

In the years immediately after the war, the remains couldn't be matched to Pfc. Jones or associated with others known to have been imprisoned at Camp 5. So in 1956 the then-unidentifiable remains were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 2014, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's Central Identification Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii exhumed the remains so researchers could use new resources, chest radiographs, dental records and skeletal remains to confirm that a teenage boy from Marion County could be named and sent home.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

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